Some #longreads as you prepare for April showers…
If you’re in the part of the country where the gradual shift into spring has begun, with all of its resultant precipitation (as captured in the above line), you may be feeling a little bummed. However, you should not despair that it’s not safe to lounge around outside quite yet; instead, head to the garage and start working on that album you always said you would make. The AV Club has a primer on garage rock bands to help provide you with the necessary inspiration.
Or if there is too much crap cluttering up your garage, you can head to the basement and record down there. Stereogum has a piece celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the lo-fi classic Alien Lanes from Guided By Voices to give you a blueprint. If GBV can crank out 28 songs for this album, then you can manage to at least write one song, right?
Perhaps you still need help in finding a particular sound. Then I recommend reading this essay from frontman William DuVall of the reunited version of Alice In Chains, wherein he discusses the pivotal songs that shaped his guitar playing. He has some great suggestions, including this classic.
One of the big releases this week was Death Cab For Cutie’s Kintsugi, and to help provide some background on the album you can read this SPIN interview with the band. For those of you wishing to dive into the back catalog of the group, lead singer Ben Gibbard provides a roadmap with this Vulture piece that details his favorite songs from each record.
Finally, Pitchfork has profiles on two wildly different artists, one with rapper Earl Sweatshirt and the other with Katie Crutchfield, who performs lo-fi rock as Waxahatchee, while Rolling Stone introduces its readers to Thundercat, who was one of the creative forces behind Kendrick Lamar’s latest album.
Only a few #longreads this week, which is OK, because you should probably be out enjoying the first official weekend of summer.
The most significant news of the week has probably been the breakdown in negotiations between various independent labels and YouTube over the terms of a new subscription service. Consequence of Sound has a piece providing details how a potential block on videos would work, and Billboard has specifics on the contract details, breaking down exactly how the various services work with the labels. Both pieces get pretty technical, so you should probably read them at a point when say, a soccer game isn’t happening at the same time.
The Atlantic has a great piece with Hamilton Leithauser, who explains how Elvis proves that there is such a thing as “brilliant nonsense” when it comes to write lyrics, and goes on to detail his own process in coming up with lyrics.
OK Go released a new music video this week, and though we don’t have an article to go along with it, we’re posting it now instead of waiting until Monday so that you have time over the weekend to find all the optical illusions.
The AV Club featured a great write-up about how Tool’s Lateralus was able to break through and reach the number one spot, and represented not only a commercial high point for metal but an artistic one as well.
Continuing with the theme that 2014 is the Year of Nostalgia, Stereogum has write-ups on the 20th anniversary of Rancid’s Let Go (which immediately prompts the reaction of “Is this necessary? …And Out Come the Wolves would be understandable, but not this”) and Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand (understandable). In further GBV news, it was announced that Dogfish Head brewery will be whipping up a special batch in honor of the anniversary, called “Beer Thousand”. I believe that Stephen Thomas Erlewine had the best quip about the news.